Really? A Resurrection?

On April 5th we started a 7-week message series in our Sunday gatherings called “Honest Questions From a Skeptical Friend” – maybe you’re that skeptic who has honest questions. If so, way to go! Keep asking.

People throughout history have staked their eternity on the resurrection of Jesus Christ being an historical fact. As a reliable book of history (and it’s verifiably so), the Bible tells us that Jesus’ tomb was empty and there were post-resurrection appearances of Jesus. Some skeptics admit the tomb was empty but attempt to explain it away in two common ways:

1. The Disciples stole the body. It’s not plausible that Jesus’ disciples would go on to die brutal deaths for what they knew to be a lie, for someone they knew to be a false Messiah who said he’d rise from the dead but whom they could not find anywhere.

2. The Authorities took the body. Think about this: if the authorities took the body and could actually verify that Jesus was still dead by producing the body, why didn’t they actually do so? The quickest way to put an end to the spread of Christianity and the talk of a ‘risen Saviour’ would be to show everyone the dead body of Jesus. They did not produce his dead body because they could not, for He was alive.

In the New Testament (I Corinthians 15) it says that after His resurrection Jesus was “...seen by Peter and then by the Twelve…” and by “...more than 500 of his followers at one time…” Then it says, “And if Christ has not been raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your faith is useless….But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead…” Paul, the author of I Corinthians, got first hand accounts from many of those who had seen Jesus alive after his burial and resurrection.

Josh McDowell, as a bright University student in the late 60’s, embarked on intensive study to disprove Christianity and the resurrection. After 2 years, McDowell submitted to the evidence and became a committed believer. A few years later he wrote ‘Evidence that Demands a Verdict’.

Interested in further reading/investigation?
+ Listen on this website to the message from Easter Sunday (April 5/15) for more information about the resurrection of Jesus. 
+ Go to and search ‘resurrection’ for helpful information from philosopher, theologian and Christian apologist Dr. William Lane Craig. 
+ Order on Amazon ‘Who Moved the Stone?’ by Frank Morison – he began to write this book with the intention of disproving the resurrection but found instead that the evidence supported the biblical story. This recognized classic is an examination of his research and the evidence he found.

Significant Others: Building True Community

Why do people leave a church? Why do people stay at a church?

Would you be surprised to know that the answer is the same? Relationships. They leave because they don’t feel connected or because they’ve been hurt. They stay because they feel embraced by a community. Developing significant relationships with others in a church is vital to your individual health and the health of the church.

Everyone has a responsibility in building community within a church. Those who have been around for a while and feel connected need to guard against complacency and becoming lazy about making new friends. You may feel like you have all the friends you need, but the people around you don’t have all the friends that they need.

If you’re new to a church, whether that means you’ve been there a day or a year, you also have a responsibility in making friends and in making the church a friendly place. Make an effort to get involved. Look for opportunities to serve. Join a small group. Attend activities. Show up for more than just Sunday mornings.

True community goes beyond being friendly on a Sunday morning. True community disrupts your routine. It means inviting people into your traditions – your holiday BBQs and trips to the lake and golf games. It means expanding the group of people you spend your evenings playing cards with or the moms and kids you gather together with at the park. Invite another family to join you in something that you’re already doing – it’s very little extra trouble or work, and it doesn’t add another thing to your schedule.

True community also means going deeper together. It means intentionally moving your conversation from mundane to spiritual. The people you share life with on a Sunday morning at ECC should be some of the most significant people in your life. We are a spiritual family, and the Bible is full of instructions on how to live life with “one another.” Here’s few of the “one anothers” found in the New Testament:

Fellowship – show genuine affection, offer hospitality, and participate together socially (Romans 16:16; 1 Peter 4:9; 1 John 1:7)

Accept – live in harmony, stop passing judgment, and agree with each other (Romans 12:16; Romans 14:13; Romans 15:7; 1 Corinthians 1:10)

Honor – put others above yourself, serve one another humbly in love, and submit to one another out of reverence for Christ (Romans 12:10; Galatians 5:13; Ephesians 5:21)

Love – be devoted, be kind and compassionate (John 13:34; Romans 12:10; Ephesians 4:32)

Encourage – instruct, admonish, and spur one another on toward love and good deeds (Romans 15:14; Colossians 3:16; 1 Thessalonians 5:11; Hebrews 10:24)

Forgive – bear with one another, forgive one another (Ephesians 4:2; Colossians 3:13)

If you’ve been around a church for any length of time, you will be hurt. And there’s a very high likelihood that you’ve also hurt someone in a church, whether you know it or not! We are a family of imperfect humans, and it happens despite our best intentions. Being hurt in a church doesn’t excuse you from developing true community with significant others in the church. Forgive, and become to others the person you wish others had been to you when you were hurt.

John 13:35 says, “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my [Jesus’] disciples.” That is what building true community is really about – creating an atmosphere where the love that flows from Jesus through us to each other draws into our community those who do not yet know Jesus – people who are hungry for the loving relationships they will find here at ECC – human love that mirrors God’s love for them.